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My friend, Thomas P B King (Pick)

My last day with Pick


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Bien Hoa/Long Bien, RVN


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Pick King

Bien Hoa/Long Bien, RVN

Pick and I were both Lieutenant platoon leaders in 2-8 Cav. Because we operated separately I didn't get to know him that well until an in-country standdown in Feb '71. We discussed it and decided to walk to the Long Bien Air Force base to make a Mars call back home to our wives. When we got there we both decided to make "commercial" calls in lieu of the free Mars calls. Pick went first and talked for what seemed like an eternity. I followed him with a short call to my wife Carole to coordinate our R and R vacation that would start the next week. When I got out of the booth I said to Pick that I couldn't believe how much he must have spent on his call. I shall never forget his response...."Dave, it might be the last time I ever talk to her...". We continued to walk back to the battalion area and Pick talked about his trip to RVN (I think it was his original flight over but it may have been after a CONUS leave). Seems that friends of he and his wife had a party the night before his flight. They presented Pick with a packet including plane tickets to Canada and instructions about where to stay, etc. He said his wife wanted him to do it but he just could not. He talked about his family and what being in the military meant to him. Well, I spent that night with the battalion and left for Camp Alpha and R & R the next day. Evidently, about the time I started my R&R Pick walked into an ambush that resulted in his death. I spent years and years after that trying to find either Pick's wife or his parents. One day at work about ten years ago (1996 or 1997) I got a hit on the internet and called a number in Florida. It took a few minutes to convince his parents that I knew Pick and just wanted to share information, pictures, etc., with them. I wrote a long letter to them including a couple pictures of Pick and me in the jungle. Pick was a West Point grad and I hope to visit his grave there some day. He was a good soldier and like so many others died too early.
His Wall inscription reads:  Thomas P B King.

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